Elon Musk’s Resignation Poll
Did he just step down as CEO of Twitter?
Elon Musk just ran his latest poll. In it, he asked if he should step down as CEO of Twitter and said he would abide by the decision. Does that mean he will no longer run Twitter? There are more implications than first meets the eye.
When he ran the poll on December 18 at 2 pm on a Sunday, for only 12 hours, he did get over 12 million votes, with a slight majority saying, “Yes, you should step down.” But there are issues with this poll and the results, as well as the implications if he did resign as Chief Executive Officer – yes, I am implying that “the head” means CEO.
First, Twitter is an international organization. The poll ran during the night in Europe and the East and closed on the morning of Monday, November 19, 2022, when most people in the East would be at work. It was a poll of only North America. Thus, the vote did not include input from the corporate audience.
But we can get more clues from the follow-up posts.
There are two clues here. The first is Elon’s answer to the first reply – no potential successor can keep the company “alive.” We must assume he is referring to the CEO as that person reports to the board of directors, is the company’s public face, and is responsible for earning profits and increasing share value. The second clue is in reply to Elon’s first tweet. Elon Musk is the sole board member, as well as the sole officer (CEO) of Twitter.
Keeping these clues in mind, he has three options. First, as CEO, he can resign and then as chairman of the board he can refuse his own resignation. Second, he can step down as the CEO and director of the board. His third option is to find a CEO that would report directly to him and carry out his direction for the company.
He could refuse his own resignation, but he is a man of his word, and that reputation is important to him. In doing this, he would lose credibility with the Twitter community.
Stepping down as CEO and Board Director would put his investment at risk. Should the new board and CEO make bad decisions, they could wipe out his entire investment. On the other hand, since he is the sole shareholder, he could also fire the new board and the new CEO if they did not follow his approved direction. However, this is still a tricky situation to manage.
With the public knowledge available now, I think Elon Musk will take up to three years to implement the changes he wants at Twitter while looking for a new CEO who will work according to his direction. After that, he would keep his word to step down as promised while remaining in control of the company.